The Incredible Shrinking Man

The Incredible Shrinking Man

USA | 1957 | 81 min. | Jack Arnold

When Scott Carey begins to shrink because of exposure to a combination of radiation and insecticide, medical science is powerless to help him. This screening is dedicated to the memory of longtime Seattle Times critic and SIFF supporter John Hartl.

"It's always gratifying when a favorite film is discovered—or rediscovered in a way that creates a fresh perspective," wrote longtime Seattle Times critic John Hartl in an essay about The Incredible Shrinking Man. Based on the novel by Richard Matheson, the film follows Scott Carey, who is exposed to a strange mist one afternoon while on a sailing excursion. Soon, his clothes are too big for him, and his wife seems taller, too. Doctors confirm what the audience already knows. As his physical form shrinks, Scott plunges into a world fraught with danger, all the more nightmarish for its ordinariness, where the pet cat or a basement spider become monstrous forces of malice. Director Jack Arnold used oversized sets and props, rotoscoping, forced perspective cinematography, and a beautifully poetic ending to create what is widely considered his masterpiece. "Surely a Criterion release is in order," Hartl mused in his essay on the film, and he was fortunate enough to see that prediction come true. John was an early and always enthusiastic supporter of SIFF, and we commemorate his life by presenting a new restoration of one of his favorite films on the big screen—a perfect way to discover, or rediscover, this incredible film.

"'Shrinking Man' Reputation Grows" by John Hartl

Dan Doody

  • Director: Jack Arnold
  • Principal Cast: Grant Williams, Randy Stuart, April Kent, Paul Langton
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 1957
  • Running Time: 81 min.
  • Producer: Albert Zugsmith
  • Screenplay: Richard Matheson
  • Cinematographers: Ellis W. Carter
  • Editors: Al Joseph
  • Filmography: Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), It Came from Outer Space (1953), With These Hands (1950)
  • Language: English
  • US Distributor: Universal Pictures